top of page

About Soulcraft

Bill Plotkin
Animas Valley Institute,

Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and agent of cultural evolution. As founder of western Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute in 1981, he has guided thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages, including a contemporary, Western adaptation of the pan-cultural vision quest. Previously, he has been a research psychologist (studying non-ordinary states of consciousness), professor of psychology, psychotherapist, rock musician, and whitewater river guide.

In 1979, on a solo winter ascent of an Adirondack peak, Bill Plotkin experienced a call to adventure, leading him to abandon academia in search of his true calling. Bill Plotkin is the author of  Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche  (an experiential guidebook), Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World (a nature-based stage model of human development through the entire lifespan), and Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche (an ecocentric map of the psyche — for healing, growing whole, and cultural transformation). He has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


In 2018, with the approval of Animas Valley Institute, we began contracting guides, trained by Bill Plotkin, to offer his work to us in the Baltics, so since then it is possible to participate at these programs in the middle of the Latvian woods, at the coast of the Baltic Sea in the retreat center "Elijas nams" and nearby place "Stacija". Guides trained by Bill Plotkin personally are guiding these events and offering the same different programs as in the USA and other countries worldwide.

Contact persons from Latvia are Lita Rubene


Retreat center “Stacija” is located in a nature park only 400 meters from the sea. It’s one of four places left in the former village of Luzna. Until 1940’s Luzna was well-established seashore village with about 40 farmsteads. Later on, during Soviet occupation, further development of village was forbidden due to it’s close location to the Baltic sea which caused Soviet fear that locals could try to use it to escape with boats to Sweden. Later on, a Soviet army checkpoint was established next to former train station. After regaining independence, vast territories of Kurzeme seaside were included into nature reserve Ovisi - with an extremely strict restrictions for building new houses and even renewing old ones.


Therefore the place has stayed untouched from massive agriculture and development. Therefore this place offers untouched nature of Kurzeme, the Baltic sea, the mouth of the River Luzna and the surrounding forests, providing a refreshment to the soul throughout the seasons. The tranquility of the people, the solitude and the closeness of nature that you will enjoy at the Luzna Station will become an unforgettable and beautiful experience to strive for. We believe that retreats held in the center are not only necessary for the people attending them, but also for the land itself to reborn and heal from military actions.


Retreat center “Stacija” offers a fully set of camping experiences. There are available pre-built tents equipped with mattresses, nightstands and light, as well as option to build your own. In the center there are showers, restrooms and dining room with a fully equipped kitchen for served dishes. Electricity for charging your gadgets is available in desired areas.


Visit for more information.

bottom of page